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November 2004

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Letters, Addenda, Errata

If you have any comments regarding articles or tips in this or any previous issue of the VOICE Newsletter, please send them to We are always interested in what our readers have to say.

Addenda - From our Editor in Chief: Encouraged by Walter Metcalf's article (PMM)BogoFilter - Customizable SPAM filtering from the September issue, I installed PMMBogoFilter myself. In two months, there haven't been any false positives i.e., "good" messages that have falsely been categorized as SPAM, and the combination has proven quite reliable. One problem occurred with multiple accounts, though. When using the "fetch all accounts" option, the process of downloading mail would often get stuck for one account. I contacted the packages maintainer, Doug Bisset, about it. Here is the relevant part of Doug's answer:

Yes, I see that problem. After doing a lot of analysis, I have decided that the problem lies with PMMail (not just the latest either). It appears that what is happening, is that PMMail is starting the first REXX exit, for the first account, then it is starting another REXX exit (doesn't matter what the exit is, it could be something entirely unrelated to PMMBogoFilter), for another account. What seems to be happening, is that when the first, of the two, returns, PMMail forgets that the second was started, so it is left hanging, waiting for PMMail to service it. The PMMBogoFilter routine has been completed, and changing the routine so that it will not run concurrently with another copy, doesn't change anything. Preventing PMMail from automatically starting to download mail, then forcing it to do the accounts, one at a time, seems to be the only way to avoid the problem entirely (not ideal when it is left to run on its own).

In my case, I have 3 active accounts, and I find that setting the main one to fetch e-mail, once every 15 minutes, and the others to once a day (they are not very active), seems to work okay, but I can have a problem when PMMail first starts up, if I don't watch it. Even then, because the 15 minute timeout starts after all e-mail has been downloaded, the fetch time creeps, and it is still possible that two accounts will overlap, and it the timing is exactly right, one of them can get hung up.

For now, the solution for PMMBogoFilter is not to have PMMail check all accounts for new mail at once, but one after another. Doug also pointed out two alternative solutions called PROXYC and Deleatur, and expressed his hopes that PMMail will get fixed once the source becomes available. I have been using Deleatur myself. It's a great tool, but requires too much user-interaction if you receive large amounts of email.

October 19, 2004 - A letter from Lutz Wagner regarding Thomas Klein's article Embellish, revisited from the October issue:

I just want to say thank you for that excellent review of Embellish.
I have been using this program from time to time for years, yet I learned some interesting features that were new to me e.g., the unsurpassed screen-capture feature.

In my humble opinion, this program really deserves much more attention from the OS/2 community, hopefully your article helps in coming this way.

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